The Nisga’a Museum is Hli Goothl Wilp-Adokshl Nisga’a, which means “The Heart of Nisga’a House Crests,” a name that celebrates the importance of tribes and tribal crests in Nisga’a society. With a design inspired by traditional Nisga’a longhouses, feast dishes, and canoes, the 929-square-metre museum opened in Laxgalts’ap, 150 kilometres northwest of Terrace, in the spring of 2011.
The heart of the Nisga’a Museum is the Ancestors’ Collection contains a stunning array of exquisitely carved masks, bentwood boxes, headdresses, soul catchers, and other works of art acquired from Nisga’a people during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Many Nisga’a possessions were mistaken as idols and destroyed by missionaries who established themselves along the Nass River. Others were given away or sold to private individuals or museum collectors. The treasures in the Ancestors’ Collection were returned to the Nass Valley from museums in Ottawa and Victoria as part of the Nisga’a Treaty. Now, for the first time, they are displayed together in their place of origin.
“Hli Goothl Wilp-Adokshl Nisga’a is our gift to each other, our fellow Canadians, and all humanity,” says Mitchell Stevens, president of Nisga’a Lisims Government.
For more information, and opening hours, visit the http://nisgaamuseum.ca/.